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Current transportation options in Detroit's HOPE Village are limited. According to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, HOPE Village residents face a 10-30-minute trip via walking or public transit to local supermarkets, hospitals, or health clinics. By analyzing existing information and facilitating focus groups with HOPE Village residents, a Dow Fellows project team identified community needs and barriers to accessing transportation services such as Uber and Zipcar.

The HOPE Village Initiative is a long-term, comprehensive, place-based initiative designed to radically change the odds of success for children, their families, and the neighborhoods immediately surrounding Focus: HOPE's campus. The initiative aims to create a pipeline of opportunity, from cradle to post-secondary education.

Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, Focus HOPE

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This report describes the actions taken and lessons learned by the Thrive Bar Dow Sustainability Fellows Team. Interested in food, entrepreneurship, and sustainability, the team leveraged a unique opportunity to learn what it means to be a “sustainable company” through firsthand experience. They recognized the need to strive for an overarching goal with a clear mission: start a food company that has sustainability as its primary objective. 

Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

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Despite the increasing recognition and implementation of sustainable practices across the corporate sector and the visibility of environmental issues in the news over the past decade, sustainability has yet to become a priority in the fields of healthcare and dentistry within the United States. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of U.S. health-related research pertains to hospital systems and operating rooms, while the awareness surrounding sustainability in dentistry is almost nonexistent. A Dow Fellows team conducted research efforts and produced a report to inform the growing discussion on sustainability in healthcare. Their efforts provide a useful starting point for dental students, educational institutions, and clinics interested in integrating sustainability into dental care. 

Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, Green Dentistry

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The University of Michigan has dedicated numerous resources to make the campus more sustainable. An on-campus waste-to-energy anaerobic digester system could help advance that cause and assist U-M in working towards three Sustainability Goals. Furthermore, based on a preliminary analysis, it could be a revenue-positive investment within ten years. This report produced by a Dow Fellows student team outlines an initial feasibility study to place a biodigester on the U-M campus. Students recommended further analysis. 

Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, methane, energy, biogas

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Housing in Washtenaw County is becoming increasingly unaffordable for both owners and renters.There is a tremendous need for more affordable options within the City of Ann Arbor to help house the city’s growing workforce, ease congestion, and ensure the diversity, vitality, and social equity of the Ann Arbor community. The student team that produced this report anticipate that the recommendations will serve as a communication tool. The report includes resources for the Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED), and other affordable housing partners in Ann Arbor, to help launch a public education campaign around affordable housing.

Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

Underlying contributors to serious health and environmental challenges often don’t receive the attention they deserve. Two examples are toilets and cookstoves, which may not readily come to mind when contemplating global health issues. Yet these two household amenities, which many of us take for granted, facilitate the spread of disease, cause countless preventable and premature deaths, endanger the lives of women and children, pollute waterways, contribute to deforestation, and degrade the quality of life for billions of people. This fact sheet provides a summary about the development of better cook stoves and toilets for people in India and elsewhere.

 

Keywords: Cookstove, composting toilet, co-design, Dow Sustainability Fellows, University of Michigan, Dolatpura, India, BLUELab, Engineering, Setco Foundation

This summary provides an overview of a project to support Indian Farmers. For generations, agriculture has been the primary means of employment for over half of the population in Telangana, India. But climate change, the increasing frequency of drought, a lack of irrigation access, and volatile market prices for popular cash crops have left many rural farmers deep in debt. These changes, coupled with complex political issues, have led to high poverty and farmer suicide rates; more than 300,000 farmers have committed suicide since 1995, and over 60 percent of those farmers were from the semi-arid states of Maharashtra and Telangana.

The U-M project team, supported by a Dow Distinguished Award for Interdisciplinary Sustainability, proposes to establish big data frameworks appropriate for small farmers in Telangana to inform the best management practices and proper risk management for Indian farmers.

 

Keywords: Dow Global Impact Series, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, University of Michigan, Telangana, India, Farmers, poverty, suicide

This summary provides an overview of a project focusing on Slum Redevelopment in India.

Today, 65 million people in urban India live in extreme poverty. Most inhabit squalid and overcrowded urban areas, known as slums, without proper sanitary infrastructure or access to drinking water. To address this pressing need, India recently proposed an ambitious new program, Housing for All, designed to provide every person living in slums with access to adequate housing by 2022. The Dow Fellows student project team developed recommendations to ensure the successful implementation of the Housing for All program through the analysis of previous housing policies in India, and the study of city-wide housing schemes.

 

Keywords: Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, University of Michigan, Slum Redevelopment, Housing for All, affordable housing, clean water, adequate sewage disposal, Mumbai

Vila Santa Marta is a community in São Leopoldo, Brazil, which faces a number of socio-environmental challenges. These challenges include trash build up in public spaces, difficulties with waste management infrastructure, inadequate water, and sewage systems that can lead to flooding, and deteriorating road infrastructure. An interdisciplinary team of graduate students, supported by a Dow Distinguished Award for Interdisciplinary Sustainability and a Ford College Community Challenge grant assessed the Santa Marta community needs and designed strategies that addressed several key community goals. This is the complete report for this project. Also see the project summary: http://graham.umich.edu/media/pubs/SantaMarta-FactSheet.pdf

 

Keywords: Santa Marta, São Leopoldo, Brazil, infrastructure, Dow Distinguished Award for Interdisciplinary Sustainability, University of Michigan

Vila Santa Marta is a community in São Leopoldo, Brazil, which faces a number of socio-environmental challenges. This factsheet provides an overview of these challenges, including trash build up in public spaces, difficulties with waste management infrastructure, inadequate water, and sewage systems that can lead to flooding, and deteriorating road infrastructure. The local government employs a municipal budgeting strategy that provides the public with the opportunity to decide how to allocate resources and determine the city’s public budget allocation for specific initiatives and capital improvements. However, issues of poor communication have historically led to limited involvement of Santa Marta residents in the participatory budgeting process.

Keywords: Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, Vila Santa Marta, São Leopoldo, Brazil, socio-environmental challenges, infrastructure participatory decision-making, global impact series

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